His mother had also been complaining to her orthopedic surgeon and family doctor since her surgery, but Albert (not his real name) says they kept blowing her off, either telling her it’s just a bit of arthritis or that she will get used to it.
But six years later, she is through with trying to “get used to it.”
“My mother’s orthopedic surgeon kept telling her that nothing was wrong but she insisted on having some tests done,” says Albert. “Sure enough, one x-ray shows a loosening of the component. Still, he was reluctant to do anything about it so she requested a second opinion.”
The second surgeon determined that the Zimmer knee has to be removed. Albert and his mother are hopeful that they can get the revision surgery scheduled before Christmas.
“We were able to get some information about this Zimmer knee from the first surgeon’s office, but only that it is a Zimmer NexGen,” adds Albert. They weren’t able to get a specific model number and at this point, don’t know if it is one of the Zimmer NexGen knees that was recalled, on the heels of a NexGen Complete Knee Solution recalled by the FDA in September of 2010. But Albert and his mother are working with an attorney who will get the old knee components and all medical records from the hospital after the revision surgery.
“My mom was 65 and in pretty good shape when she had this replacement knee,” Albert says. “Her knee started to give problems but we both agree that she was better off before the surgery, since day one. It pops and clicks a lot. And she can move her kneecap around excessively. She can’t walk very far and has to plan where she is going. She uses a cane, which she never had to use before the surgery.
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“My mom just wants some relief, to get out of this pain and have more mobility. Any financial compensation is secondary - even though Zimmer is liable. Of course it would be great to see her compensated. Fortunately, she is covered with medical insurance but that doesn’t cover pain and suffering she has endured for the past six years.
“This has greatly affected her life. My son is a little league baseball player and she used to see a lot of his games. After this surgery she hasn’t seen one game. She can’t go far without a wheelchair.”